Where do I start? Well, I´m getting used to being sweaty all the time and smelling like bug spray. My compañera sometimes complains that she´s cold and turns off the fan. I just stare at her in awe.
My compañera´s name is Hna. Oy (like “toy” or “boy”) and she´s from Mexico. She eats everything with chilli, like popcorn, chips, vegetables. She doesn´t speak English so that is fun trying to communicate sometimes haha. No, my Spanish is functional enough that when she has to explain what a word means I can usually pick up on it. She´s great and everyone here is really nice and patient with my Spanish. The youth in the ward make fun of me but I was expecting that. They try to get me to say wierd things in Spanish or they just start spurting out everything they know in English, which isn´t much.
Actually, we´re trying to put together an English class that I´ll teach at the ward building on Saturdays because many people we talk to tell me that they are trying to learn English. It could be a good finding opportunity because who doesn´t want free English classes? I hope that works out.
You wouldn´t believe the poverty here. Trash and poop everywhere, people living in scrap metal huts with thousands of bugs. It makes me very grateful for what we have in the States. Our apartement is the best, cleanest one I´ve been in. And the stray dogs everywhere. Oh my, so many dogs. Dogs on the brink of starvation too. The actual landscape is really beautiful; mountainous with lots of greenery, cool birds, and colorful fruits I´ve never seen before.
Our showers consist of pouring cold water over ourselves with a bucket. It actually feels good so I don´t mind that at all. We have a toilet, but there´s no water so to flush you have to pour a whole bucket of water in the bowl. We get the water from a dripping foucet so everytime I have to go to the bathroom and don´t have water, I have to wait 15 mins for the bucket to fill up. The bug net isn´t bad; grateful for it. The mosquitoes are a missionary´s biggest threat as far as safety goes.
Don´t worry about my safety; there haven’t been any issues with the missionaries. Catcalls and the occaisonal creepy guy who we just stop talking to and walk away from are really the worst things that happen.
The food is good like everyone says; mangos and avacados are everywhere! lots of pupusas, rice, chicken, and tortillas 🙂 not low carb, but I can’t really help that.
The people here are super receptive to talking about Christ. The problem lies in actually getting them to do anything about it. They just want to be nice, good Christians so they say yes to everything then don´t follow through on their commitments. So we have tons of appointments and new investigators, but few that are actually progressing so that´s kinda hard. The two biggest challenges here are getting people to come to church and keep the Sabbath day Holy and getting them married! Everyone works on Sundays which isn´t an easy fix because work is hard to come by and they don´t have much as it is. Also, because they don´t have money or for whatever reason, many many many people just move in together and start a family without getting married. We get really excited when we find a family already married that we can teach.
We do have a couple getting married soon though! Eduardo and Kristina are getting married so Eduardo can get baptized. Kristina is already a member. We have two other people that will be getting baptized soon, two young girls named Maria and Nicole.
They discovered my piano playing ability and now I´m being asked to do all these things and events. Its funny because the Latinos are so tone deaf they think every gringo can sing even if he/she can´t. It´s a good time. I really do like the people here. It´s a different culture and I´m not totally accustomed to everything yet but the people here are very kind, humble, and fun. They love to joke around.
Sorry I don´t have any pictures; my camera died last Wednesday, but I´ll try to get you some next week. There are probably more things I´m forgetting but dont have much time so I´ll have to sign off. Love you guys a ton! Eat a burger for me 🙂